A week or so ago I saw a very interesting blog post on Big Lees Miniature Adventures Blog about a very poor article (found here - titled "If David Cameron must ban anything, let it be Warhammer fantasy games").
At the time it was something I read, tutted at and commented on Big Lee's blog about. I had intend to post a blog about this myself afterwards, but I decided to leave it as many other wargames blogs had covered the same stuff. Basically it was someone taking a cheap shot at the Warhammer games specifically, and by association the whole hobby. There are some people who believe that the article was designed to be some sort of satire... but personally I'm not convinced.
The article in question also caused me to look at how my hobby is perceived by my friends, relatives and colleagues. I'm lucky in that my partner is very supportive (see previous blogs mentioning visits to Haugh Battery, Eden Camp, Cardiff Castle, The Royal Welsh Regimental Museum, etc) and will happily let me sit quietly and paint. Mainly because I am sitting quietly, I suspect. My family have, by now, gotten used to my obsessive tendencies and I would like to think are impressed at the quality of my painting. I'm very open about my hobbies with my colleagues - some don't understand, some do but leave me to it and others will ask me about what I've been doing and ask me to see pics.
This hostility that seems to exist about this particular hobby seems to be one of these nebulous things that 'society' (aka, elements of the media) seems to have. Just as it's fun to take the mickey from geeks, it must be even more fun to make fun of subsets of geeks. I mentioned in Big Lee's blogs comments about this attitude not applying to things like football.
I was interested then, to read this article on the BBC website, about HG Wells and the creation of the hobby. A much more balanced and informative article, although it only briefly touches on the smaller elements (painting, modelling, etc). The comparison between the two is massive, and really made me question the purpose of the original telegraph piece. Maybe it was satire - comparing playing and banning warhammer to watching and banning hardcore pornography.
The final point of this blog entry? My names James and I'm a wargamer - and not ashamed of it!